HAVANA TIMES — “Yadira has always been involved with painting. When she was little she would spend hours sitting at the dining room table painting sheets of paper with her little art set.” That’s what her grandmother told me, because I didn’t know her back then.
Yadira now makes her living as a manicurist. “Look at my catalog. I have samples of all my work,” she says. She has photos of nails of all colors, with very complicated and beautiful designs. Some she does from her imagination, others she copies from magazines.
In the living room of her house she has a space set aside for work, complete with modern equipment brought by her parents from abroad.
Her parents were, of course, the ones who got her interested in pursuing training as an art instructor before they immigrated to the United States.
“Yadira, you have the education, talent and the vocation. Why didn’t you continue with a career in the arts?” a friend asked her.
“Life has led me to along this other path,” she replied without conviction. “When my mother and father left, I stumbled on doing nails, and ever since then I’ve doing pretty well. I’m not short of money. Plus, it’s a lot of fun doing this kind of work.”
Applying fake nails brings in fairly high incomes to young Cubans these days. It costs about 15 CUC (16.50 usd) to put them on initially and then 3 to 5 CUC weekly or biweekly to maintain them or change the design.